Sevenoaks Swimming Club (the ‘Club’) will endeavour to meet the needs of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and provide access to ensure equality of opportunity wherever feasible. However, it must be appreciated that the nature of competitive swimming is that swimmers are moving at speed through the water which, in itself, can present a safety issue.
Currently, the Club has a limited membership capacity, and it is therefore unlikely at present that the appropriate organisational and safety requirements can be met to enable those whose disabilities preclude training in existing Club sessions to participate.
However, it is hoped in future that the Club will be able to expand its remit to include dedicated pool time and teachers/coaches for those with disabilities who are unable to participate with one or more of the support strategies below.
Facilities and support
The support for swimmers with disabilities currently includes:
- introductory visits to the various swimming centres for familiarisation
- all teachers/coaches given information on members’ disabilities on a ‘need to know’ basis
- training schedules adapted for those with disabilities
- a ‘swimming buddy’ system for those with hearing and/or sight impairment or learning difficulties
- volunteer ‘spotters’ for those susceptible to seizures
- dedicated areas to ensure that inhalers or sugar supplements are at hand
- use of additional equipment such as pullbouys to support the legs
- a hoist at Sevenoaks Swimming Centre for those unable to enter the water unaided
- It should also be noted that ASA Law does not apply where it is impossible for the swimmer to comply because of a disability, providing that the swimmer has appropriate documentation to support the fact.
The Club will endeavour to arrange suitable support for every member where feasible, but if difficulty is experienced, the member should make the Club, via the teacher/coach, aware of this at the earliest possible opportunity so that requirements can be reassessed and appropriate arrangements made where feasible.